Camping Kitchen Checklist

Camping is a fun way to get into nature, breathe outdoor air, and spend time with family and friends. Whether you're an RV camper or prefer to head out with only a backpack full of supplies, meals will be part of your planning process. Of course, cooking while backpacking will require a little more forethought and perhaps some special supplies, but every camper will need the basics for meal preparation. The following kitchen checklist should help with ensuring you have everything you need to create meals in the great outdoors.


This includes cereal bowls for breakfast and other meals like soup or chili, and larger bowls for mixing and serving. (You can also use pots for mixing and serve directly out of cooking pans to eliminate the need for larger bowls.)


If you bring a canteen or refillable water bottle for regular hydration, you will only need to bring coffee cups for hot beverages like your morning brew or hot chocolate around the campfire.


You can use paper, plastic, or even ceramic plates depending on your camping style.


In addition to the basics, remember serving spoons, spatulas for cooking, and steak knives, if needed.

Can Opener

If you pack canned food, this is a must!

Bottle / Wine Opener

Is there anything worse than having a bottle of wine and no way to open it?


A skillet cooking eggs over a campfire.

One might be enough, but if you have a large family or camping group, you might need an assortment.


Consider the meals you have planned. Do you have a way to boil the corn? Is your pot large enough if you catch crab at the beach?

Hot Pads

You’ll need a way to pull the hot can of pork and beans out of the fire.

Plastic Wrap, Foil, and Storage Bags

It’s amazing what you will come up with if you don’t have these on hand, but it sure makes clean-up and food storage easier when you do.

A coffee maker over a camp fire.

If you’re a coffee drinker, grab your french press, plug the drip maker into the RV, use a percolator over the fire, or boil water and pour it through a coffee filter-lined funnel. Remember the coffee grounds, too!

Sharp Knife

I’m not saying it's not acceptable to use a pocket knife to cut onions, but it’s perhaps not the most sanitary technique.


If you have an RV, you’re set (make sure you have propane and enough power to ignite the stove). However, for tent campers, you’ll want a cookstove or tabletop grill to bring with you. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with camping directly over the fire, either!

Fuel and Matches or Lighter

Remember the propane tanks, firewood, charcoal and lighter, or other fuel you may need.

Trash Bags

Remember to recycle when you can!

Cutting Board

Someone slicing a tomato on a cutting board outside.

A plate will do in a pinch, but a cutting board is very useful to have around.

Sink and Dish Soap

We aren’t encouraging you to bring everything including the kitchen sink. Oh wait, I guess we are. For a few bucks at the sporting goods store, you can find a small inflatable sink for washing up after dinner. However, a large pot works just as well if you’re already bringing one, or a small plastic tub.


Of course, you’ll need water for drinking and making coffee, but you’ll also need it to clean up yourself, dirty dishes, etc. You will use more than you think, even when backpacking, so be sure you have a storage container and perhaps a water filter in case fresh water is not available.

Roasting Sticks

If you don’t think you’re up for the old stick and whittle technique, throw in roasting sticks for hot dogs and marshmallows (they come in handy for toast, too!).

Measuring Devices

Your recipes will turn out better if your ingredients are measured, so toss in a few basic measuring cups and spoons.